The Pianist

In recent yers, we hve seen mny moving films regrding the holocust. Steven Spielberg’s epic Schindter’s List, nd Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beutiful certinly mong the best of them. The Pinist, directed by Romn Polnski, cn tke plce mong them. Bsed on the true story of Polish rdio str Wldyslw Szpilmn. The Pinist is n unflinching document of one’s mn’s struggle to survive ginst overwhelming odds.

The film opens, set in Nzi-occupied Wrsw. Pinist Wldyslw Szpilmn nd his fmily re coping with the chnges tht the Germn occuption brings. They must give up their prtment, nd be relocted to Jewish ghetto. It is difficult for them, but s fmily their combined strength holds them together.

But later, when the Jews re being rounded up nd sent out on trins to cmps, Wldyslw is seprted from them. He escpes, to the underground, where he meets members of the Polish resistnce. They figure if they cn hold out long enough, the mericns or the Russins will come nd free them from their sitution.

Life, s Jew, in Wrsw, t this time, ment stying in hiding. Szpilmn sty’s lone, t sympthizer’s prtment for dys, witing for news nd food. While there, he must remin silent. His discovery would be certin deth for ll involved. From the window, he sees the brutlity of the wr just below him, wtching s Nzi soldiers gun down rebel fctions.

In the second hlf of the film, we see disheveled Szpilmn, injured, limping, on the run, hiding out nd scrounging for scrps of food. dirty berd fills his fce. His nerves frzzled, his fce gunt nd his eyes empty.

In him, we see mn, deprived of everything tht mde him humn. Yet he brvely holds on.

Like Benigni, for Life Is Beutiful, drien Brody, lso won the cdemy wrd for Best ctor. nd Polnski, he himself survivor of Krkow ghetto, won n cdemy wrd for Best Director. His use of cityscpe shot t different times of the film, estblishes the totl devsttion of the city.

This is n excellent, emotionl film but is sometimes difficult to wtch nd not intended for younger udiences. The scenes of brutlity re not senstionlized but re violent nd disturbing.